Marc Gayraud–my genial fishmonger in Castres market Tuesdays and Saturdays–was offering some medium size monkfish yesterday morning, at a reasonable price (18 euros the kilo–about $24 a kilo). These two pieces cost about 9 euros.
I’d been wanting to cook this lightly-spiced dish for ages–and it is relatively simple to do.
Vendu, monsieur! [Sold, sir!]
You can prepare the sauce beforehand and reheat it when you are ready to add the fish. That’s the beauty of it.
A little brown basmati rice and some seasonal green vegetable makes a pretty plate.
12oz/300gms monkfish (cleaned)—cut crosswise through the cartilage in bite size pieces [or other firm fleshed white fish]
3 tblspns olive oil
2 cloves garlic–chopped
3 large tinned tomatoes–chopped
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika (pimenton)
sprigs of parsley and thyme and a bay leaf
1 glass dry white wine
1 tsp salt
10 juicy black olives–stoned and halved
- Soften the onion in the oil using a sauté pan large enough to hold the monkfish –about five minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook a further three to four minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes with the spices, herbs and salt.
- Cook these gently for a couple of minutes.
- Add the wine and cook another couple of minutes.
- This makes the simple base in which to cook the fish.
- A few minutes before you want to eat, reheat the sauce and add the olives.
- Slide the monkfish pieces into the sauce and cook on low heat, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes until the fish is opaque and you can’t wait any longer!
- Serve over basmati brown rice with perhaps some steamed broccoli on the side.